All Wet! Comal Springs
Comal Springs, New Braunfels
The largest group of artesian springs in Texas, Comal Springs includes at least seven outlets that flow through limestone fissures, along a fault of the same name, into the 2.5-mile-long Comal River. Locals claim the Comal is the world’s shortest river, but it had sufficient length to attract Tonkawas, Spanish missionaries, and German settlers who used the springs to power mills, and, in modern times, swimmers, tubers, and other water worshipers. The average flow from the exceptionally clear springs tops 8 million gallons per hour, at a brisk 72 to 73 degrees year-round.
The Landa Park Aquatic Complex includes a spring-fed pool built in the early 1900s, making it one of Texas’ oldest. Depth in the large, inverted-C-shaped pool reaches up to nine feet. On the adjacent river, a long water slide carved into the side of the dam forms the City Tube Chute. You can rent tubes there. Shoot down the slide, climb back over the dam, and do it again, and again, and again. Now that’s a good time!
The Comal River is open year-round (www.watertherules.com); the pool in the Landa Park Aquatic Complex and the City Tube Chute open May to Sep (call ahead for days and hours of oper-ation and admission fees). Landa Park Aquatic Complex, 350 Aquatic Circle, 830/221-4360, www.nbtexas.org/index.aspx?NID=1434; and City Tube Chute, 100 Leibscher Dr., 830/608-2165; www.nbtexas.org/index.aspx?NID=1438 (find tube-rental information on the website as well).
From the May 2013 issue.